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The drums, a Cuban language

Santeria drums

The drums, They are symbols of intense Cubanness, of parties and carnivals, of "touches of saints", of ceremonies, of congas, of joy and of the purest syncretism.

Rustic and heritage, these musical instruments have accompaniedañaCubans have been used for centuries in their celebrations and rituals, as elements of music and also of communication with the deities.

Called batá drums in Cuba, constitute one of the groups of greatest interest in the culture of the island, since they represent the process of transculturation that has occurred in the country since the colony and are also inherited from the African ancestors, linked to the practice of the Santeria in Cuba and the precepts of the Rule of Ocha.

Cuban Batá drums and their Creole roots

The three drums, coat They are built in a traditional way and the preferred wood for making the box is cedar, although to a lesser extent mahogany, oak, avocado and almond are used.

Patches are placed and lined, the most used are goatskin, although there are some more complicated variants of the Yoruba tradition that have been transformed over the years.

The Cuban batá drums, they have a leather or fabric bag that contains natural elements and helps in its sound, loose or nailed to the inside wall of the box.

But this is not only because of the music, but the drums allow the spiritual connection in a magical ritual dedicated to Añá, the deity who defends and protects them and also has the function of establishing communication with the Orishas through them.

The consecrated toilets are known as olúbatá or Omo añá (son of Añá), devotees who with great religiosity manage to bring the Orishas to earth through their powerful touches.

Drum festival, tradition and religion

And Cuban drums They are part of the Afro-Cuban culture and a sample of the island identity, so they are not only incorporated into religious ceremonies, but are also present in the maximum artistic expression of Cuba.

One of these artistic events is the Drum festival, which takes place every year at the beginning of March, and today is considered an international celebration with popular dance music orchestras from Cuba, foreign guests, and folk dance companies.

In this Festival, groups that honor Afro-Cuban roots participate, such as:

  • Timbalaye
  • Obbini Bata
  • Yoruba Andabo
  • Rumbata

The drum calls us, the drum identifies us, and it is part of a great legacy that our ancestors gave us.

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